The diabetic foot, a common complication of diabetes, is characterized by blood circulation and sensory issues, making the feet vulnerable to various complications such as ulcers and infections. In this article, EVO Laboratories delves into the risks associated with diabetic foot and provides essential tips for its care.

The Diabetic Foot and Associated Risks

A Diabetes-Related Condition

The diabetic foot is a common complication of diabetes, caused by damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the feet. Diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy, where the nerves don’t function correctly, resulting in a loss of sensation. Additionally, it can damage blood vessels, reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the feet.

The Risks

A diabetic foot that is not regularly examined carries significant risks. The loss of sensitivity due to neuropathy can lead to neglecting injuries, wounds, or even emerging infections. Without proper care, these issues can worsen rapidly, increasing the risk of non-healing ulcers and gangrene. Reduced blood circulation further complicates the healing process. Ultimately, this can lead to foot or lower limb amputations.

Regular Foot Inspection

Daily foot inspection is a crucial step in preventing diabetic foot complications. Take the time to carefully check your feet for red areas, irritations, cuts, or blisters. A mirror can help examine hard-to-reach areas, especially if neuropathy has reduced your sensitivity. If you discover wounds or abnormalities, promptly consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Maintain Foot Hygiene and Nail Care

Maintaining rigorous foot hygiene is essential. Regularly wash your feet with warm water, ensuring thorough drying between the toes. Keep your skin well moisturized to prevent the formation of cracks, especially with specialized creams. When trimming your nails, do so cautiously, avoiding cutting too close to prevent cuts and infections. If you have difficulty caring for your toenails, a podiatrist can assist you in maintaining perfect hygiene.

Regular Follow-ups with a Podiatrist

Regarding podiatrists, regular follow-ups are a crucial step in diabetic foot management! These healthcare professionals are foot care experts trained to assess and treat issues specific to diabetic feet. During comprehensive examinations, they check the condition of your feet, look for wounds or abnormalities, and provide personalized advice for managing your condition. They can also assist with nail trimming.

Finding the Right Shoes

Criteria for a Good Choice

We recommend trying a new pair of shoes in the afternoon when the foot is slightly swollen. Opt for a team that provides ample toe space, ideally 1 to 2 cm more than your foot size. Ensure they allow for wearing socks and, if needed, orthopedic insoles.

Special Diabetic Shoes

For many individuals with diabetic foot concerns, traditional shoes do not offer sufficient protection against reduced sensation and vulnerability to injuries. Therefore, it is often advisable to opt for custom-made or specially-designed diabetic footwear. These are manufactured considering the patient’s foot shape, size, joint mobility, and anatomical characteristics.

Using Foot Orthotics

Orthopedic insoles, or foot orthotics, provide valuable support for diabetic feet. They evenly distribute pressure on the soles of the feet, reducing the risk of wounds and ulcers. These orthotics also offer necessary stabilization and support, contributing to better gait. EVO’s laboratory and its orthotists specialize in crafting custom plantar orthotics. Following a precise diagnosis, we will direct you to the best orthotic treatment for your condition.

Wearing Compression Socks

Compression socks help reduce edema caused by venous insufficiency. Through light and gradual compression, they encourage blood flow back into the leg veins and valves, thus improving blood circulation. However, we don’t recommend compression socks for individuals with arterial insufficiency. To determine if compression socks suit your case, consult a healthcare professional. They will assess your condition and recommend socks tailored to your needs.

Engage in Gentle Physical Activity

Physical activity plays a crucial role in diabetic foot management. First, it promotes good blood circulation, reducing the risk of complications. It also aids in glycemic control, a key element in diabetes management. However, choose gentle activities that minimize impacts on the feet, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. Feel free to consult your doctor or orthotist before starting any exercise program to discuss activities suitable for your condition.

Taking Care of Diabetic Feet: Key Takeaways

  • Diabetic foot is a common complication of diabetes caused by nerve and blood vessel damage in the feet;
  • Risks include loss of sensation, undetected injuries, wounds, infections, ulcers, and severe complications like gangrene;
  • Daily foot inspection is essential for early problem detection, and regular follow-up with a podiatrist is crucial;
  • Choosing suitable footwear is fundamental: the right size, toe space, and the option to add orthopedic insoles if necessary;
  • For some patients, specially designed shoes for diabetic feet are necessary;
  • Foot orthotics distribute pressure and reduce the risk of wounds, while compression socks help improve blood circulation;
  • Gentle physical activity is beneficial, but it’s essential to choose suitable activities while wearing appropriate footwear.

If you suffer from diabetic foot and your healthcare professional advises using foot orthotics, EVO’s laboratory is at your service to provide comfort and custom solutions. Schedule an appointment now!